Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Qwaser of Stigmata vol. 1 Impression

The Holy Wars Ignite in this stylish epic

Who knew breast could have this much religious meaning? The Qwaser of Stigmata volume 1 from Tokyopop offers up an intriguing story, by Kenetsu Sato. In its most simplistic form this is a fighting, battle manga where there is a prize and a number of ‘fighters’ each with unique powers and motivations. How this story unfolds, who the players are and where they get their stamina not to mention the base beliefs it challenges, this is what makes Qwaser unique especially when combined with Hiroyuki Yoshino art style. Let’s take a look at the core tale in volume 1.

From watching out for her cousin Tomo to fighting for her life, things get very interesting for school girl Mafuyu Oribe. A promise made when her uncle passed, Oribe takes it upon herself to protect Tomo but when she comes across and helps a wounded boy named Sasha, well things get very interesting. Sasha, from Russia, is a Qwaser and as one he can control an element, in his case metal. One of many Qwaser’s, Sasha’s purpose is to protect Tomo and a hidden religious relic sought by other Qwaser, the most mysterious of which is the golden Qwaser whom Sasha seems to have a deep past. The ultimate relic is call the Theotokos of Sary Su and it represents the secrets to Christ miracles including his resurrection. Sporting a Hexed Crucifix, Sasha is a member of an order who wishes to preserve Christ secrets while he must battle those with less noble intentions. St. Mikhailov Academy is the battleground and the source of power for Qwaser is the breast. As Jesus gained life from Mary so must Qwaser gain their energy leading to some awkward situations. The battle is just beginning and more Qwaser begin to appear. Let the fight for the Theotokos of Sary Su continue.

The story in Qwaser can draw many comparisons to Fate/stay Night in that there are many powered beings (Qwaser) paired with normal humans for power fighting over a religious relic. These fighters fall into school age ranges and come from a variety of social levels and geographic regions. Gaining power from suckling on breast is both symbolic and a little naughty (to read that is). The action in Qwaser is great and the use of elements and how they interact with other elements makes the battles great but it’s the religious information that really makes this a manga worth reading and researching. The hexed crucifix, the religious artifacts; are they real? Do they have real meaning or all just part of the manga? (I’m looking to be sure.) The characters are also interesting and have much depth to still be explored. This type of story could get very complicated but does not in volume 1 as readers are eased into just about everything. Wrap this fine level of narrative in an artistic package reminiscent of such manga as Fullmetal Alchemist in detail and beauty and reader really don’t have much to complain about if anything.

Overall The Qwaser of Stigmata is a well told, well drawn manga that intrigues the mind and delights the eye with potential for some religious objections. Nothing wrong with that so if you’re of age take a gander, rock solid.

1 comment:

  1. I watched the anime and it was quite interesting but It is pretty sad that anime ends so fast that why I love mangas because you can get more of the series.